LSAT READING COMPREHENSION

How To Ace The LSAT Reading Comprehension

Introduction

Getting ready for the LSAT? A key part to focus on is the LSAT Reading Comprehension section. This part tests how well you can understand and make sense of complicated texts. These skills are very important for anyone wanting to succeed in law. We’re going to tackle what you’ll face in the reading comprehension part of the LSAT, reading comprehension LSAT tips, and how many reading comprehension questions are there on the LSAT.

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Overview of the LSAT Reading Comprehension Section

Duration 35 minutes
Length 26-28 passage-based questions (divided into four reading passages).
Subject Matter Four passages from four areas: Law, Social Science, Science, and Humanities. Three single-text passages and one ‘Comparative Reading set’ with two texts.
The Basics 1-2 passages of about 50-60 lines each on diverse topics. Questions include both explicit and inferential. Five choices per question, with only one correct answer.

What is the Reading Comprehension Section of the LSAT?

In addition to the challenging LSAT Logic Games section, the LSAT Reading Comprehension part stands out as a crucial component of the exam. This is because it closely mirrors the extensive reading required in law school and legal practice. This section is designed to assess your ability to absorb and comprehend complicated, dense content, such as those encountered in your legal school and job. These texts often involve a blend of argumentative and expository styles, covering a variety of topics, from legal cases to scientific reports.

The reading material in this section demands meticulous attention to detail, requiring you to discern precisely what is being conveyed, as well as what is implied or left unsaid. The texts often call for analytical skills, such as comparing and synthesizing information, drawing inferences, and applying legal principles to different contexts. This level of reading requires a deep understanding of unfamiliar topics.

Structure and Purpose of Reading LSAT

The LSAT reading comprehension section consists of four sets of questions, each based on a different reading passage. Typically, three sets focus on a single passage, while the fourth set includes two shorter, related passages, a format known as Comparative Reading. This section’s aim is to measure your ability to read with insight and understanding, mirroring the type of reading encountered in law school. Each passage is followed by five to eight LSAT reading comprehension questions that test your comprehension and analytical abilities.

Introduced in 2007, Comparative Reading requires you to analyze the relationship between two passages, which is a common task in legal studies. You might, for example, compare different legal opinions or cases. The topics of these readings are diverse, ranging from humanities and social sciences to biological and physical sciences, often with a connection to legal subjects. 

Understanding the LSAT Reading Comprehension section is vital, as it forms a significant part of the LSAT sections and contributes to your overall LSAT score range. Excelling in this area not only boosts your LSAT score but also prepares you for the rigorous reading demands of law school and legal practice.

Skills To Develop: How To Get Better At Reading Comprehension LSAT?

To improve your speed and efficiency in understanding reading comprehension passages, certain key skills need to be developed and refined. Not only will these skills boost your performance, but they’ll also help in reducing the stress associated with this challenging aspect of the LSAT. Here are the skills to focus on for getting better at reading comprehension LSAT:

  • Summarizing
  • Problem-Solving
  • Decoding
  • Vocabulary
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Memorizing

Developing these skills is a step towards mastering the LSAT Reading Comprehension section. Regular practice, coupled with resources like LSAT Prep Courses or LSAT Tutoring, can significantly aid in enhancing these abilities.

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LSAT Reading Comprehension Example Questions

It’s essential to acquaint yourself with the various types of Reading Comprehension (RC) questions. Each question type necessitates a distinct approach to ensure accurate responses.

Main Idea Questions

Main idea questions task you with selecting the answer that encapsulates the author’s primary point. While these questions are generally more straightforward, they can still pose challenges. 

To identify the main point, examine the question’s structure. Main points are typically the ones most substantiated by the rest of the passage. If your chosen point aligns with the supporting evidence throughout the paragraph, it’s likely the main point. However, if your chosen point appears to be evidence for another claim, it’s likely not the main point.

Sample questions of this RC type include:

  • “The central idea of this passage is…”
  • “What is the main focus of this passage?”
  • “What is the primary purpose of this text?”

What’s Stated Questions

These questions prompt you to recognize explicitly stated parts of the text. The answers typically provide a close paraphrase of a passage segment. Focus on grasping the underlying idea rather than fixating on the specific wording, as vocabulary similarity may lead to selecting an answer with a different meaning.

Examples of these questions are:

  • “According to the passage, what is one reason for…”
  • “What is explicitly mentioned as a consequence of…”
  • “The author directly states which of the following about…”

Meaning Questions

Meaning questions require you to determine the contextual meaning of a word or phrase within the passage. It’s crucial to understand that you’re not merely defining the term but describing its meaning as intended by the author.

Sample questions include:

  • “The phrase ‘economic downturn’ most likely refers to…”
  • “Which of the following comes closest to the meaning of the word ‘aspect’ in the context?”
  • “What does the author imply by the term’strategy’ in paragraph B?”

You may also encounter questions where you need to find a synonym or replacement word for specific terms in the passage. These questions will be framed as “If substituted for the word… in line…, which of the following would convey a similar meaning?”

Structure Questions

Structure questions task you with identifying the role of different parts of the essay and how they work together. To answer these questions effectively, you must comprehend the passage’s structure, understand the main point, and recognize the evidence used to support that point.

It’s also crucial to identify the relationships between specific parts of the passage. For example, one paragraph may provide recent evidence to support a claim, while another may present outdated evidence that contradicts it. Pay close attention to the order of the structure; an incorrect answer choice may misrepresent the passage’s organization.

Common examples of these questions include:

  • “What is the primary purpose of paragraph one?”
  • “Can you identify the correct organization of the paragraphs?”
  • “What is the connection between the arguments in passages A and B?”

Inference Questions

There are numerous types of inference questions, but they all need you to focus on the author’s language and the degree of certainty in their statements.

Look for terms like “must” or “always,” which show strong agreement, and words like “sometimes” or “may,” which imply uncertainty. The right response should correspond to the author’s level of assurance. While these questions need conclusions, you will not be required to engage in complicated thinking. The right response is always the one that is most strongly supported by the evidence in the paragraph.

Inferences on Author’s Views

These questions ask you to infer the author’s perspective or opinion on a particular subject discussed in the passage. You should consider the author’s attitude and the strength of that attitude.

Typical question examples are:

  • “Which view on climate change would the author most likely support?”
  • “On which of the following issues would it be most likely for both authors to disagree?”

Inferences About Information

These questions focus on inferences related to specific information or facts within the passage(s). They require you to determine what else could be or must be true based on the presented facts, necessitating strong inferences.

Sample questions include:

  • “Based on the passage, which statement is most strongly backed by the information?”
  • “The passage suggests which one of the following is most likely to be accurate?”

Application Questions

Application questions can be challenging as they require you to apply principles from the passage to new contexts. Focus on identifying main ideas that can be generalized and rephrased to match other scenarios.

Examples of application questions are:

  • “Which scenario is the most suitable application of the principle discussed in the passage?”
  • “What policy is consistent with the approach supported in passage A but not in passage B?”

Principle/Analogy Questions

Principle/Analogy questions ask you to find a part of the text with a similar principle or scenario in the answer choices. To answer these questions correctly, you need to understand the main concepts in the passage and eliminate choices that do not align.

Sample questions include:

  • “What principle corresponds to the one mentioned in the passage?”
  • “Which situation is most similar to the approach used by the scientists in addressing a specific issue?”

Improvement Questions

Improvement questions task you with selecting an answer choice that would strengthen or weaken the passage’s argument if added. These choices should either increase or decrease the argument’s efficacy, even if just a little.

Examples of these questions are:

  • “Which statement, if true, would significantly strengthen the author’s argument?”
  • “Which piece of information, if true, would cast doubt on the argument in passage A and support the argument in passage B?”

LSAT Reading Comprehension Tips: Do’s and Don’ts

Mastering it requires a systematic approach. In this part, we’ll go over some important dos and don’ts to help you handle the LSAT Reading Comprehension problems efficiently.

DO’s

1. Utilize Active Reading Techniques

How to study for the LSAT? One effective approach to LSAT Reading Comprehension is to actively read with your pencil in hand. Use this tool to underline or circle keywords and phrases within the text, such as “however,” “therefore,” “argues that,” and other important indicators. This technique helps maintain your focus and assists in understanding the structure of the passages.

2. Embrace Flexibility

Remember that you’re not obligated to follow the order of passages or questions in LSAT Reading Comprehension. Being nimble means having the flexibility to choose which questions to answer first. Take as many free LSAT practice tests as you can. You can skip certain questions if you find them time-consuming or difficult. This approach can improve your overall score by helping you to better allocate your time.

3. Familiarize Yourself With Different Question Types

The LSAT Reading Comprehension includes various question types, each requiring a different approach. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with these question types and understand their unique strategies. Whether it’s a main point question or an inference question, knowing how to tackle each type effectively is crucial for success.

4. Spend Time On Mastering The Fundamentals

When should you take the LSAT? Building strong reading comprehension skills takes time and practice. Start by developing effective reading strategies and techniques. Focus on identifying important keywords and understanding why they’re significant in the context of the passage. Patience and consistent effort in mastering the fundamentals will pay off.

5. Consider The Precision Of Language

Pay meticulous attention to the precise language used in the passages. If the author presents a statement like, “This explanation isn’t well-supported, however,” it’s crucial to accurately interpret the author’s attitude towards the explanation. Avoid overly approximate interpretations, as the LSAT often tests your ability to discern nuanced language. For example, distinguishing between “cautious doubt” and “vehement skepticism” can make a significant difference in your answers.

DONT’S

1. Don’t Read Faster

The LSAT Reading Comprehension section isn’t a race against time. It’s not about how quickly you can read through the passages. Instead, focus on active reading strategies that allow you to identify and grasp the most critical information within the text. You will increase your understanding and retention by actively engaging with the information.

2. Avoid Inserting Your Personal Experiences

All the necessary information is provided within the passage itself. When you incorporate your personal experiences, knowledge, or opinions into the equation, you run the risk of introducing unwarranted assumptions, which can steer you toward incorrect choices. Strong critical readers steer clear of this frequent LSAT pitfall.

3. Prioritize Accuracy Over Speed In Your Practice

It’s crucial to prioritize accuracy over speed, especially when you’re in the early stages of LSAT preparation. Rushing through passages with a timer can add unnecessary pressure and hinder your ability to comprehend the text fully. Before timing yourself, invest time in practicing and honing your reading and comprehension skills.

Improve Your LSAT Reading Comprehension Score with Expert Guidance

Odyssey Test Prep provides a complete LSAT prep course to help you master LSAT RC. Enrolling in our course will provide you with not just the essential skills, but also the confidence to ace the LSAT and make your law school ambitions a reality.

LSAT Prep Course

Enroll in our LSAT prep course to master Reading Comprehension, and gain the confidence to conquer the LSAT and secure your law school dreams. Our LSAT reading comprehension strategies tackle different RC question types while building your speed, accuracy, and endurance. Our online platform allows you to take simulated LSAT RC sections with detailed explanations to reinforce strategies.

LSAT Tutoring

Elevate your LSAT Reading Comprehension skills with personalized tutoring to maximize your potential and achieve the score you deserve. Our expert LSAT tutors work with you one-on-one to diagnose strengths and weaknesses in the LSAT reading comp section and create a customized study plan. We utilize real LSAT passages to demonstrate effective RC strategies and provide personalized explanations after you practice passages. 

Law School Admission Consulting

Let our expert consultants guide you through the intricacies of LSAT Reading Comprehension and the entire law school admissions process to ensure your path to success. Our consultants advise you on LSAT prep, and law school essays, and ensure your application packages your skills and passions.

Final Thoughts: How To Improve On Reading Comprehension LSAT?

With the insights we’ve shared about the LSAT RC section, you’re now equipped with valuable knowledge to enhance your performance. Whether you’re just beginning your LSAT journey or you’re in the midst of preparation, remember that continuous practice and expert guidance are essential. If you’re looking for personalized assistance and valuable insights to boost your Reading Comprehension abilities, consider scheduling an LSAT Free Consultation with Odyssey.

Our experienced consultants can provide you with tailored strategies and support to help you reach your full potential on the LSAT.